The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
OverviewIt is no secret that men are in trouble today. War rages from Iraq to Sri Lanka, from Lebanon to Sudan. At the same time, the rest of creation is dying at our hands and right before our eyes. And young men are disappearing almost as fast as the other species. What can we do about a sick masculinity out of control? For Matthew Fox, our crucial task is to open our minds to a more critical understanding of the healthy masculine than we receive from our media, culture, and religions. Popular religion forces the punitive father imagery of fundamentalism on us, pushing most men away from their natural yearning for spirituality or toward intolerance and domination. Meanwhile, many men, particularly young men, are looking for images of healthy masculinity to emulate. For Fox, the Men's Movement of the early 1990s began this crucial exploration of healthy masculinity but got bogged down in gender conflict and fears of speaking openly about spirituality. Open discussion and promotion of healthy male spirituality runs counter to our cultural goals and ideals. According to Fox, our culture rewards reptilian brain accomplishment such as domination and associates it with masculinity. Meanwhile, one of the primary goals of spiritual practice is to tame those very tendencies. Hence, true spirituality is pushed to the fringe and men repress their higher calling to reinvent the world. To awaken what Fox calls 'the sacred masculine', he offer ten metaphors and archetypes, ranging from the Green Man to the multigenerational Grandfatherly Heart. He also includes archetypes of sacred marriage, showing how partnership becomes the ultimate expression of healthy masculinity.